R3: Salma Hany (EGY) 3-2  Joelle King (NZL) 6-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-7 (68m)
What a strange match that was. It was a game of two halves, for sure, with Joelle so accurate in the first two games, controlling the T, making Salma look a bit slow and forcing her shots to land in the middle of the court.
I go out to speak with Marwan and Nathan after their match, and I come back, it’s a completely different game of ball. Joelle, who wouldn’t say boo to a fly, is arguing her case again and again with the ref, stressing the fact she doesn’t have a line, again and again. Alas, the no lets keep frustrating her, and we even have some sharp physical contacts, and a few words between the players.
Is that was caused Joelle to get out of the match? Was is Salma that stepped up her game – the purpose in her shots was completely different in the last 3 games… No sure. One thing is sure, Salma grinded it out for sure, and Joelle explained to the ref at the end – very respectfully – how unhappy she was about the whole thing.
It was fight or die today.
But she was so good in the first two games, I played catch up all the time, I was not in control. At the TOC, from 2/0 down, I waited too long to grind it out.
So, from the middle of the second game, I stuck to my plan better, and I found my length better, and I told myself, even at 2 love down, I saw it was working. So I completely forgot about the score, I had the belief in myself that I could do it, we had such a gap and probably such another gap coming up, I didn’t want to have a break now. I want to be able to stay on court and enjoy my squash much longer.
So I kept telling myself the plan is working keep doing it. I wanted to prove to myself that I could mentally, physically come back from 2/0 down, using my squash as well.
It was a scrappy match, I apologise to Joelle, but sometimes, you are not going to win playing only great shots. Sometimes you have to accept you are not playing your best squash and just dig in, and grind it. I have the upmost respect for Joelle, she is a very fair player. She is very solid but I told myself that I had to find the crack, and when I found it, run through it.
I wanted more time on court, and I was not going to waste a chance to play in front of the Pyramids. I was not walking out that court a loser today.